Tiny Steps was started by Martin and Laura following the isolation they felt on their journey as first time parents to a little girl with additional needs. From the start their time was spent in the special care unit and Doctors soon advised that their journey as parents was going to be very different from that of their friends and families as they were told Connie would have significant developmental delays.
At 8 months old, Connie was diagnosed with West Syndrome and spent some time in Alder Hey children’s hospital. West Syndrome is a rare form of epilepsy which can be hard to control and have a huge impact on development. At 14 months, Connie was diagnosed with congenital hip dysplasia which led to a long operation. Connie gave everyone a scare when the crash team was called. She pulled through and went home in a hip cast from her chest down to her ankles for 12 long weeks. The 5th March 2012 was a memorable day, Connie was to have her cast removed and begin her road to recovery. This Twas also the day her baby sister Betsy was born. Betsy would go on to have a huge impact on Connies development.
In Connie’s life there have been many unforgettable days, some good, some not so good yet she has given us days that will last in our memories for an eternity. On the 22nd of February 2014 Connie defied the odds and took her first steps – and although unorthodox and unsteady, they were her steps. Connie saw something she wanted on the other side of the room, decided she didn’t want to wait for someone to pass it to her so she got it herself. Connie now attends a special school in her local area and achieves her own milestones in her own time, despite all her difficulties she lives her life through a smile.
THE NEXT STEPS
Martin and Laura found that trying to find suitable, safe and meaningful activities for a family with a child with additional needs wasnt easy. There was no provision in the local area that was accessible, inclusive or welcoming.
Activities and services didnt have designated times for children with additional needs or equipment to meet the complex needs of their little girl at that time. The times spent explaining what was wrong , or having to leave somewhere soon after arriving emphasised the isolation and they didnt want anyone to feel the way they did. They found comfort in a coffee morning one day a week at Russett school but realised this was not enough and not acceptable to not have this support or services daily.
Tiny Steps began…
The aim and vision was to create a local Sensory centre, soft play area and social cafe for families in this situation. after years of fundraising and the incredible support of our community Tiny steps started their first stay and play sessions every other saturday afternoon at Lostock community centre. This started in April 2019. The sessions have gone from strength to strength and they are now proving the need for this provision ,reaching out to many families. Such as the need for these sessions Tiny steps has moved to larger premises at Sir John Deanes sports hall